Friday, November 28, 2014

JIM REKOUTIS as FONZIE

Jim Rekoutis was Bingham's "Fonzie"
By "Admiral" Wayne Ray
Jim Rekoutis was the "coolest cat"
“Happy Days” is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life in the mid-1950s to mid-1960s United States. Wikipedia.  
Jim Rekoutis was the "coolest cat" during our "Happy Days" in the 1940's. Looking back, I likened him to the TV program Happy Days "Fonzie" character.
home was far right and center
above US Hotel
Here is why: Jim grew up in Copperfield. That act of nature was imbedded in his soul for life. Someone gave him the nickname of "Mackuty" which we eventually found "tagged" on the entrance walls of the Copperfield side of the Bingham to Copperfield tunnel, as well as elsewhere. I don't know if he wrote it or not, but I'll bet he got a visit from the Utah Copper "copper". We first met in the 7th grade. I knew then at first glance that this guy was something special. As we became more acquainted he told me about growing up in Copperfield. He did all the Copperfield kid stuff that got most boys in trouble. He sold ore samples to tourists that came to the visitor’s center of the mine, sometimes "putting one over" on them. He was as a Crossing Guard in grade School when he did something out of turn and was "squealed on" by a classmate.  He never forgave him for that even when we were seniors in High School. Anyway, ask him where he is from and he'll tell you Copperfield even though it doesn't exist anymore.  The reason that I think he resembles the Fonzie character was his "presence". By that I mean that wherever he was, he attracted respect. From students, teachers, other adults------everyone. Even "Boss" Hausknecht, who those of us who knew him, respect was hard to come by, treated Jim almost as a peer. 

Copperfield Business District
about to be mined away
Jim was more than often the center of attention. First if all, he had a mustache in Junior High.  His attire was always white '''cords", dirtied to the proper degree, and a leather sleeved jacket. You knew when he was around.  He could have called my mother Mrs. "R" and my dad Mr. "R". He was generous to a fault and was very protective of me. 
I was as naive as "Richie" Cunningham of the Happy Days TV program and needed Jim to help guide me. I felt safe when we were together. I don't remember him ever getting in a fight. We all thought he was "tough" but he never had to prove it. However, he never took any "crap" from anyone all his life.  

Tragedy struck his family twice in his young life when his father and his uncle who married his mother after his father’s death both were killed in accidents on the job at Utah Copper Company. Jim is the oldest of 5 children, three brothers and two sisters. He was in Junior High and a sophomore when those tragedies happened so he had to mature fast. He really became the man of the house. Then and for all of his life he has looked after the welfare of his family. As a result of his maturity he was one of, if not the first, in our high school class to have a car. His mother needed him to drive. 
seven miles of snow
When he started going with Mary Manos, who became his wife, having enough gasoline to take care of family duties and court her was a problem.  Remember in WWII gasoline was rationed and if you had an "A" card, your supply was limited. I was always asking my dad and my Employer at "R" Dairy for stamps for Jim's gas. He did, after all, drive me around some times.

 My wife and I lived in California near Jim and Mary Rekoutis and their family twice. I have remained close to them since High School. We assisted the startup and even worked for one of Jim's companies. For a while after our retirement, we were very active in his business. I found the "Fonzie" attitude still intact as we enjoyed watching him grow and succeed.

4th of July in Copperfield
And he was still always looking out for my welfare. We are privileged to have as friends two of the most generous and gracious people we have ever known.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

REMEMBERING LARK, UTAH

REMEMBERING LARK
Bob and Donna Bardsley Family
By Susan Bardsley Hopes
Thank you, Susan, this is priceless.  
This is a story of  people and things that are precious and must be saved. 
Lark is a pretty little town
"Lark,is a pretty little Town"
"Lark is a pretty little Town"
Sometimes, our clearest memories are not of significant events in our lives, but of very insignificant moments, one such time for me, was a crisp, spring morning, my father and I were walking the ridge of Easter egg hill. The Sego Lilly's were just beginning to peak out of the small clumps of snow that had not yet melted from the grip of winter. Dad was a great whistler, and each time he heard the trill of a Meadow Lark he answered back with the same smooth singsong whistle. I had tried and tried to form my lips, curl my tongue, and push air out of the space between my teeth, but failed at each attempt. You know what they’re singing don't you? Lark is a pretty little town! Lark is a pretty little town! Like a permanent tattoo this memory has stayed with me all these years. I am now a grandmother, but still when I hear the trill of the Meadow Lark I hear "Lark is a pretty little town. Lark is a pretty little town''.
Lark in Wintertime
So how did Lark get its name? In Lillis Sandstorm's history she wrote "There is no record as to how Lark got its name, but two stories told by the old settlers are: Two old prospectors by the names of Dalton and Lark discovered two of the mines, so the town was named after them. The other story, most of the early miners to come here to work were Cornishmen, who had mined in their native land of England. They came first to Michigan, then pushed west to Utah. These people made good miners and soon built up the towns and named them Dalton and Lark, after towns in England. Dalton was built up on the side of the mountain, and Lark built up where it is today. Later, when the Mascotte Tunnel was started, all the people and houses were moved down from Dalton to Lark."

Change is the one thing in life you can always count on in this life!
 Nothing comes easy and nothing stays the same!
Susan Hope
Susan  Bardsley Hope on bottom
Shortly before Christmas 1977, Kennecott Copper Corporation announced it had purchased the town of Lark and the residents would have to leave.  We left with no place to go, said goodbye to friends we may never see again.  One by one we left.  Bob and Donna Bardsley did own their home.  Susan said we moved to Lark when my brother Terry was 7, Marilyn 5, Caren, Jean and I, Susan were born here.
If you go looking for Lark, you might find the location where it once was, but driving past there will be no resemblance of how it once looked. Even much of the topography of the land is altered.
 Lark by Lillis Sandstrom, she describes Lark as a" little mining town nestled snuggle against the side of the Oquirrh range of mountains, Lark is only 25 miles distant from Salt Lake City, and can be reached by paved roads extending on easy grades through a prosperous cultivated valley. It is one of the finest situated mining camps in the county".
Mascotte Tunnel
Lark was a company owned town.  The United Sates Smelting and Refining Company owned the homes and the ground. There were a few people that owed their homes. For $500 dollars Bob and Donna bought their first home.  Did they pay rent on the Lot?  The house had a lean-to kitchen and an outhouse. When the wallpaper was removed you could see outside.
Many of the first houses in Lark were tent houses. Some of the early homes were built with 2x4 boards forming a square frame to the top and bottom. To complete the house, 1x4 inch boards were nailed lengthwise to these to make the walls, with 1 by 4 inch boards nailed over the cracks and the sloping roof. They were then lined with a heavy paper. Most houses were not divided into rooms but had one large room.
Drift Inn
I think that our home might have started out as one of those early homes. By far one of Dads biggest undertaking was to dig a basement. He dug it out by hand, with a pick and shovel, one wheelbarrow and truck load at a time. Usually after working a full day at KCC. This home was demolished when Lark shut down. Dad had bought ground behind the Drift in that he raised pigs on he had a new house built on the truck haulage road.  I think all the homes on that street owned their property.  This house had a walk out basement but this time it was dug out with a back hoe. It wasn't long before KCC bought them out again, this time they didn't want them back and they bought in Rose Canyon and had their home moved over there. This home will all so be gone soon.
Lark Mine
Debbie Peterson said, I don't think she meant literally right behind the Drift Inn but it was on the on the Kennecott Road between Gallegos and Martinez. The only house actually behind the Drift Inn would have been way up the hill by the water tower.  Debbie Peterson said after they tore the Cafe down, Bob would be there on a daily bases cleaning and gathering the cinder blocks. He called me little red riding hood because I would be walking to my grandma and grandpas house at least twenty times a day.
As my husband walked out the door this morning he reminded me not to for get to vote. For my father’s politics and religion were always heated topics in our home. When our son won commissioner on the republican ticket we teased that Grandpa would roll over in his grave. Dad was a die-hard democrat believing that democrats were for the working man.
I had no idea Lark ever had a sheriff.  I was born in 1957 and moved in 1974. As a self-absorbed teenager I never paid attention to the politics of Lark.  Did we have a Mayor or town council?  Did we have polling booths set up at the school when we voted? 
LARK DAYS back in the 1970's
Sally Starnes said, we had no elected officials. The town was owned by the mine and houses were rented to the miners except for a few, but those few were still on property owned by the mine. Thus, no mayor or town council, only appointed positions of Coroner and Sheriff!  We all seemed to get along!
Steven Richardson said, your mom, Donna painted the large painting of Jesus knocking at a door.  It hung high on the wall in the foyer of the LDS chapel.  Another an outdoor scene was given to the Copperton Seminary.

Change the one thing in life you can always count on.

Where we love is home-home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Homes

"Old mill"  tested every boy and girl
Lark Cemetery or the Absents of
Susan Hope
I once wandered with my father through his home town cemetery. Naturally my grandparents and many of our relatives were laid to rest there. As my father would read the names of on the grave markers he would tell me a little history about the people he had known. I learned of two spinster aunts. I learned about the man that bought the first motorized tractor. I learned that Dad lived as a hired hand at the age of twelve with this man and his family. I learned about those went to war and returned in a casket. There is a lot of history in a cemetery.
Cemeteries, single grave markers, and memorials can be found in the loneliest forsaken places. But you know by its marker that at some point in history someone crossed this path, that there had been a community, or a war was fought.
First row- Joyce Gressmen, Donna Reed, Janeen Yeats, Cal Crump, Norman Steel, Zane Dumont, Boyd Crump, Cal Nelson.
Second row- Vera Pierce, Beverly Seal, Jayne Bigler, Norval Draper, ------ Fullmer, Dean Coombs, Richard Sorensen, Keith Webb.
Third row- Teacher Harold Nielson, -----------------, Darlene Hunt, Lois Webb, Veril Carlson, ------------------, Howard Eastman and Blaine Peterson
Where are the remains? Some of Larks inhabitants were born, Married and died in Lark. Lark was established in 1866. Lark died in 1979 at the young age of one hundred and thirteen years. Not one grave marker or memorial. Was Lark and its inhabitants so inconsequential that they didn't even merit a common burial-place?
At one time men brought their families from all over the world to work in one of the largest producing lead and zinc mines in the State of Utah. It was all so one of the best ventilated and safest in the entire country. At its peak population Lark exceeded 800. As impressive as the mine might have been for its time, it’s the people who made it impressive. Those men and their families who lived, worked, worshiped, played, loved, learned, fought, cried, helped one another, and forgave one another that impresses me the most!
For those who loved this little town nestled in the cedars and oak brush it was all ways understood that our stay was always temporary. For some the only plot of dirt they ever paid for was the one they were buried in.  If you died your rent was up.

Epitaph
Bonnie Parker
 1910 to 1934
As the flowers are all made sweeter by the sunshine and the dew, so this old world was made brighter by the lives of 
folks like you.



First row left to right: Howard Eastman, Norman Steel, Cal Crump, Blaine Petersen, Darrell Tea.
Second row Merleen Christensen, ------------------, Don Gressmen, Janeen Yeats, Gloria Franks.
Third row Teacher Miss Garfield, Clynell Richardson, Shirley Reed, Marian Nelson, Merlene Wilcox, Lois Webb, Beverly Gressmen.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO GIVE THANKS!  
Susan Hope
Boy Scout Camp in Butterfield
very popular in the"Old Days"
Before I leave for work, I can sort, wash, dry, fold and put away at least a load of laundry.
However my mother remembers a time when laundry was not all that quick and easy. Washing for a family of seven could take most of the day. If you was lucky enough to have a Wringer washer, the laundry would then be hung to dry on the clothes line. How long it took to dry depended on the season and the weather. Practically everything needed to be ironed including those lovely embroidered pillow cases. This in its self was tricky business. The clothing was misted, rolled and placed in a basket. If you didn't get to it soon enough the clothes would sour.
About the time that I started Kindergarten Mother went to work outside the home. Needing a little help she turned to her neighbor Mrs. Romero.
With four daughters, one son my Father and Mother we had a lot of ironing. Mrs. Romero took on the task of ironing our clothing at 10 cents an item. I'm sure she had plenty of her own task to do! Mrs. Romero not only pressed our clothing, but she mended it, sewed on missing buttons and usually returned the pressed clothing with a big stack of homemade flour tortillas.




THANKS Mrs. Romero for taking such good care of our clothing, sharing your food, and being such a good neighbor.
P.S. Thanks for inviting me to play with the little girl that came to visit during the summers. I think her name was Yalonda? I'm sure we ran through your house and eat more of your good food!


Christmas Eves Eve we had our family Christmas Party/ Birthday party down at the church. Twenty people with just my children, and that's not counting our oldest Son and his family who was not there. He lives in Montana. It's amazing how a family that began with six grows. We planted good seeds and reaped a good harvest, OR WATCH OUT THE WEEDS ARE OUT OF CONTROL!

Mother shared one of my favorite stories last night about her life. When Donna (my mother) was in 3rd grade someone had given her mother, a lovely purple silk night gown, her mother made panties out of the night gown for Donna. Donna was at school one day in the middle of a spelling bee. As she sat there waiting for her turn to go to the front of the class room and spell her word she felt the elastic break on her new purple panties. Mrs. Lida Hansen called out Donna's name to come to the front of the class room and spell her word. Donna was mortified! She knew what would happen in front of the whole class. ''No, I don't want to" she told Mrs.  Lida Hansen. Mrs. Lida Hansen marched Donna to the front of the room and forced her to put her hands down to her side. That's when it happened. What terrified her happened! Right there in front of the whole class. Her pretty pink panties dropped to the floor and so did Donna. She fainted. There was nothing anyone would do to get her to go back to that class. Fortunately there was two third grade classes. The other class room was thought to have had the smarter children.
Alex's grand Daugherty at Bingham Reunion 
 Donna was moved in to Mrs. Littlefield’s class room. Shortly after Donna attended Mrs. Littlefield’s class she asked Donna if she would mind retaking a test. "No, I don't mind" said Donna and she redid the test just as well as she had the first time. Mrs. Littlefield recognized Donna's potential, and her artistic ability. Donna was given the job of decorating the monthly bulletin board and choosing a student each month to help her. For years after any time Mrs. Littlefield saw Donna's mother she would ask how Donna was doing. Sometimes the things in life that make as faint turn out to be our greatest blessing.

Games
Myra Heaton‎ asks, does anyone remember the Thursday night volleyball games held in the gym at the Mormon Church where everyone in the community was invited, cupcakes, corndogs and everything was sold to pay for the next week’s goodies. This went on for years. I was a family programmer at Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center where I planned Volleyball family nights using this memory as a template. Families loved it but I loved it more.
Alex Montoya many years earier

Susan Remembers that Mayra Heaton posted the Thursday night volley ball games at the church. I remember the year that I was finally old enough to be on a team. There was only a few things that would get my Dad out to church, a funeral or activities that were held in the cultural hall. Dad was a captain of one of the teams.  This tournament was held during the winter months, packing the hall between the kitchen and cultural hall with people buying corn dogs or whatever else the ladies in the kitchen had to offer. However the real excitement was the tournament! It gave us something to look forward to each week to break up those long, cold, dark winter evenings in the winter. I played on my Dads team. I don't know if he wanted me, or no one else would pick me? In all fairness, all of our family including my mother was fairly athletic. Spiking the ball was not my talent, but I was pretty consistent about getting that ball over the net. I often walked to the game after dark, taking the short cut across the dump behind our house.  

sand from old mill
The dump was not where garbage was dumped, but at one time the tailing from the mine had been dumped there. The town had cleaned it off and put a ball diamond and tennis court. Along the side of the tennis court a dirt road lead to the church. Between the tennis court and the church was a gentle slope with a thick wire cable strung in holes in a post to keep cars from getting to close during ball games. At one place in the wire cable it sagged and people often used it as a short cut to the church instead of going around the tennis court. This particular winter the snow drifted heavily along the wire cable. Were it sagged there was a huge pile of snow to the point that you didn't even half to jump the cable. There was a well packed path to the church. Well you might ask yourself "so what" well the first year that I played volley ball two things happened in Lark that sticks in my mind. 

First our neighbor went missing. He lived with his brother and his brother had been asking around town if anyone had seen him. It was well know that his brother was a drinker and often dispersed for weeks at a time. Sometimes he would hitch hike down the valley and work odd jobs, sometimes he worked at Nicolette's Goat Ranch.  When he got a pay check he got liquored up. The second thing that took place that winter, revolved around a mature couple in town that had never had children. She was playing volley ball that year. One day she became ill. Her husband had horses that he feed across town. He left long enough to feed the horses, when he got back much too both their surprise she had given birth to a healthy baby boy. This was exciting news for our little town of Lark. The mystery of our neighbor was not discovered until spring. Dad rode in a car pool, he often had the guys drop him of at the church. He would then take the short cut across the dump. The snow had begun to melt the path that we had traveled all winter. Dad discovered the mystery of our missing neighbor. He was the reason why the snow was so high at the sag in the cable. Dad notified the police. I never stepped over the sag in the cable after that, without thinking of who we had been traipsing over all winter, of the year that I was old enough to play volley ball.
Winter

Just loaded the fire place with wood. It’s a whopping 16 degrees out there. At least we haven't hit the negatives yet. Bob and I have had a war over the thermostat in the house and car sense 1974. He likes it cold, I like it hot.  I think, I might be gaining some ground on the home front? I can't prove it scientifically but in my observation, some people's internal thermostat runs either hot or cold. I love the heat from an oven door, or a car in the summer. You think I'm crazy! I tell you what’s crazy! Being in the high Unitas in a sleeping bag, in a tent, in the middle of the night, shivering because it feels like your sleeping on a block of ice and the day light will never come, or flying across a frozen Scofield reservoir on a snowmobile with slush soaking your clothes. I blame this aversion to being cold from my childhood. You see there was this ritual in the winter that we followed anytime we could. It began with a pair of thermal underwear, then you put on two of the best socks you could find.(no holes in the toes) next was the bread sack to cover the socks, followed by another pair of socks to keep the bread sack from falling down. Next came the layering of clothing, but this was tricky. You had to put on just enough to keep warm, but not so many that you couldn't move freely. Lastly, was coat, hat and gloves. Lark was all hills.

 There was a hill behind my house, a hill to get to the school, a hill to the store, there was housing at the top of town called the Heights. But when it came to sledding or tubing Turpin Hill was the best! Lark, as I remember never lacked for good snow fall. I often remember the snow on the sides of the road being over my head. (But then how tall was I as a little girl.) The hardest part was packing our tubes and sled, all uphill just to get to Turpin Hill. If you were lucky, some other kids from town had already packed Turpin Hill making a path to sled down and banked the bottom so if you went too far you wouldn't' fly out in to the road. I can't even imagine how many times we must have gone up and down that hill in the several hours that we spent there. I don't ever remember an adult being there to make sure we didn't do anything to crazy. As far as I know, I don't think any one was hurt too BAD, because we did do some crazy things. Shortly after the sun went down it got really cold, really fast, and we couldn't take it any longer. 



REMEMERING PEOPLE AND TIMES
By People who lived in Lark
Lavon   &  Clyde Crump
This is a picture of Lavon and Clyde Crump. My grandfather Clyde was born and raised in Herriman and my grandmother Lavon was born and raised in Coalville. They were married in 1924 and moved to Lark in 1927 when Clyde was appointed as a part time deputy sheriff for the Bingham District. He also worked as an electrician at the Lark Mine. He was the first bishop of the LDS Ward in Lark serving from 1945-1952. He followed Dorus Thomas who was the Branch President of Lark from 1923 to 1945. Lavon worked as a clerk at the Lark Mercantile for many years. Lavon was killed in a tragic car accident in 1976 and Clyde died in 1985 after he was moved from Lark to Copperton

This is a picture of my Grandfather Clyde Crump taken in July 1978 by Ren Willie just before Clyde moved to Copperton. The second picture shows his house with his elm tree trimmed. The third picture shows Lark's Main Street looking east in July of 1978.

Don Gressmen said Clyde was a very important man in my life. I respected and admired him as a great man. He took me under his wing when I first moved to Lark and made sure I stayed active in the church and took good care of my grandmother. I truly loved that man.

Clyde Crump, Dorus Thomas,  Jim Reed
Sally Starnes said, our first house backed up to Clyde Crumps so we had back to back...back yards! We also had Clyde Gillam. The Crumps were so nice to us! Cal! Remember the Gillam kids ....your back yard neighbors?

Leigh Ann Turnbow Reber said I remember these guys. Oh! My Gosh! I loved them. Thank you for sharing that picture.

Susan Hopes said, Thanks for sharing this picture. I remember Clyde fervently bearing his testimony on fast and testimony Sunday's.  Larry Martinez said, Mrs. Crump worked at the Lark Store.

Here are three Lark legends. Clyde Crump, Dorus Thomas and Jim Reed. Clyde Crump was the first bishop of the Lark LDS Ward from 1945 to 1951, Dorus Thomas was the Branch President of the Lark Branch from 1923 to 1945 and Jim Reed was bishop from 1951 to 1958. The new Lark Ward Building was dedicated in 1956 when Jim Reed was bishop.

Lark Day at Copperton Park 2015
Carol Steel Michaelsen What a beautiful photo of three wonderful citizens of my favorite town of Lark. All three contributed unselfishly to the welfare of everyone who lived there. It brings tears to my eyes remembering times of my childhood in that town. What a wonderful era and wonderful people to associate with. I am so grateful for being a part of that time.